The lost art of waiting

From Homiletics Magazine: “In the late summer of 2012 the Mars rover named ‘Curiosity’ landed on the surface of the red planet. It took just seven minutes for the rover to enter the atmosphere and touch down successfully – less time that a ride on Splash Mountain at Disney World. While most of the world tuned in and took notice of this amazing feat, many overlooked the fact that it was a long time coming – a very long time in fact. NASA engineers spent roughly 8 ½ months waiting.”

Who likes to wait? You stand in line and notice that another line is moving faster. So what do you do? You move into the apparently faster line only to see the register close or a person with fists full of coupons slow everything down. You pray, “Lord, give me patience.” Then He gives you something to be patient about.

We just don’t like to wait. We want our food fast. We want faster Internet. We cannot stand to wait. In our instant society, we pay a price for our impatience. We let impatience affect our moods and our actions. Just get behind the guy driving 55 mph in the left lane on the highway and let me know how that feels. Wait a minute, I already know. I’m not proud of the times when I get worked up about somebody’s pace of life that doesn’t fit mine.

Perhaps we should consider the things worth waiting for:

  • A marriage to grow deeper and stronger
  • A child to mature into a person who contributes to family and community
  • A walk with God that illuminates His love for us
  • A God-given ability to blossom
  • Brokenness to heal and forgiveness to be experienced

There are plenty of others. Today I was thinking about the father in Luke 15 who had to wait for the prodigal to come to his senses. Not all of our stories come out the way we want them to, but this one does. When the boy comes home, he finds a patient father who waited with a prayerful heart. When he arrives, he is engulfed by loving arms. Yes, he blew it, but now he gets a second chance, a new beginning.

Isn’t that the nature of God? We can find Him in the story. We can also find ourselves – either as the prodigal or the older brother. Jesus said we should treat others as we wish to be treated. That may require something that we don’t like to do – be patient.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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